Attempting to locate where you are or to determine the best way to reach
a destination can be a particularly challenging task - especially if you
are unfamiliar with the area and the terrain is rough. A good map can
help, however, it can even be difficult to determine where you currently
are on the map. GPS is a technology that is ideally suited to both
navigation and positioning.
GPS technology originated in the US military. The Defense Department
recognized the need to have a precise positioning technology to locate
soldiers, vehicles, enemies, and supplies on a battlefield and monitor
their movements. The Global Positioning System was developed in response
to fulfill this important military need and included a satellite network,
ground communications stations, and receivers that cost over $12 billion
On March 29, 1996, President Clinton a Presidential Decision Directive
(PDD) that changed the categorization of GPS into an international
information utility. The Presidential directive included the following
1. The U.S. government will continue to operate, maintain and provide
basic GPS signals worldwide, free of direct user fees.
2. The U.S. will advocate the acceptance of GPS and it's augmentations
as a standard for use by initiating international discussions in agreement
with Japan and Europe.
Currently the Global Positioning system is operated by the military, but
is used by both military and commercial users.